Remember when the competitive Pokemon player-base (both VGC and TCG) was promised information about the 2019 Championship Series in late July? Everyone except for the Pokemon Company themselves apparently remembers.
For those who have been involved in organized play as either a VGC or TCG player, TPCI’s inconsistency in providing their players what they want/need has been apparent for a while. Everything from information to prize money has gotten delayed at some point in the past, but, in recent times, information regarding the competitive Pokemon circuit has been releasing at intervals suitable to the player-base. That is until TPCI decided to give themselves a deadline.
Here is an excerpt from the official page for the 2018 Pokemon World Championships:
“The Nashville Open will award Championship Points equivalent to a Pokémon Regional Championships event, applicable to the 2019 Championship Series season. Details on the 2019 Championship Series are coming in late July.”
We’re now a few days into August, and we’ve received no such information. Granted, getting information about the upcoming 2019 season in July was way earlier than anyone was expecting, but it seems like this promise was just too good to be true. Details on the format for the 2019 VGC season are what’s on everyone’s mind, but the next biggest thing is how exactly next season is going to work.
There has already been a Special Event that took place in Valencia earlier in July which awarded Championship Points for the 2019 season, and for now we’re left with question marks. Imagine winning a tournament and knowing that you’ve won something, but you don’t know exactly what you’ve won. That’s how players who qualified for Championship Points are feeling right now.
What will be the 2019 VGC format?
While we’re on the topic, let’s take a moment to discuss what the upcoming season’s format could be. Many players have been speculating that it will be similar to that of the 2016 format where restricted legendary Pokemon like Groudon, Xerneas, Rayquaza, etc. were allowed. This was one of the most polarizing formats in VGC history with players either loving it or hating it. It was cool being able to use such powerful Pokemon, but it wasn’t as cool to have Smeargle spamming Dark Void all over the place. Thankfully, a revamped version of 2016’s format has shown a lot more promise considering the nerf to Smeargle’s access to Dark Void and the wider pool of legendary Pokemon to choose from.
A more interesting take that some have been speculating is that VGC could be taking a trip back to the first generation. Before I get your hopes up, no, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee will (almost) certainly not be the games we’ll be playing for Pokemon VGC. The games have been confirmed to not be catered to the competitive side of Pokemon as the games won’t even have a Battle Spot-esque feature. What could be the case is that the 2019 format could allow only Pokemon from the first generation games. This would be a neat idea, but the pool of Pokemon would be absurdly small compared to past formats. But hey, it worked for 2011 and the first Black and White format, so maybe there’s a chance.
Issues Beyond Information
In the midst of this uproar about the “late July” promise, some other things have yet to be solved. A few players have reported issues getting registered for the Pokemon World Championships, and some are still waiting on their prize money from 2018 tournaments. Thankfully the case of Tyler Miller was solved thanks to a huge community effort to reach out to the Player Coordinator in order to account for crucial Championship Points that weren’t accounted for Miller’s invite. This community can accomplish amazing things, and acting as a unit may be the most effective way to generate change.
The 2018 World Championships are just a few weeks away, and it would be in TPCI’s best interest to get their act together before then. Players have been anxiously awaiting this information about the 2019 season, and the wait, combined with the plethora of other issues, will only continue to stir up negativity. If we can excuse not delivering in July like promised, perhaps Worlds (or late August) should be the next deadline for this information to drop.
This information about the 2019 season is necessary for more than just speculation about which Pokemon will be viable or how many Championship Points each tournament will award players. Knowing about the 2019 season will likely decide for a number of players how they want to go about earning their Worlds invite for next year, or whether they want to compete at all. At this rate, TPCI is continuing to drive the wedge between them and their players, and the community will surely not forget the words “late July” anytime soon.
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International.